If you’ve suffered an injury on someone else’s property, you may have a premises liability case on your hands. Premises liability refers to a property owner’s legal responsibility to keep their property reasonably safe for visitors. If unsafe conditions on their premises caused your injury, you may be entitled to compensation. But premises liability claims can be complicated. To build the strongest case and maximize your recovery, it’s wise to have an experienced Jacksonville premises liability attorney on your side.
What Qualifies as a Premises Liability Case?
Premises liability lawsuits arise when a property owner fails to address hazards on their land or facilities. If you got hurt due to their negligence, they may be liable. Common scenarios include:
- Slip and fall accidents – Wet floors, uneven pavement, loose carpeting, and other slip hazards that aren’t addressed can cause serious injuries. If poor maintenance or cleaning caused your fall, the property owner may be at fault.
- Inadequate security – Property owners must make reasonable efforts to keep their premises safe from foreseeable criminal acts. If you were victimized by inadequate lighting, lack of guards, unlocked entrances, or other security lapses, you may have a negligence case.
- Failure to warn of dangers – If a property owner is aware of a hazard but doesn’t clearly warn visitors about it, they can be liable for resulting injuries. For example, not putting up signs to caution about wet paint, obstacles, low ceilings, etc.
- Poor design or construction – Faulty architecture, design flaws, broken stairs, lack of proper railings, and other defects that cause accidents can also lead to premises liability.
- Swimming pool accidents – Lack of proper fencing, failure to provide lifeguards or flotation devices, and other negligent pool maintenance issues often form the basis for injury lawsuits.
- Dog bites – Property owners can be held liable if they knew their dog had a history of aggression but failed to protect visitors from getting bitten.
If you were injured in any of these types of scenarios on someone else’s property, a premises liability attorney can help you build a negligence case and recover damages.
How Can a Lawyer Help With Your Premises Liability Claim?
A seasoned Jacksonville premises liability lawyer has the skill and experience to handle every aspect of your injury claim, including:
- Investigating the Accident – Your attorney will visit the accident scene, gather photographic evidence, interview witnesses, and compile all important documentation needed to prove liability.
- Identifying Liable Parties – There may be multiple parties at fault, such as the property owner, manager, contractor, subcontractor, security company, etc. An attorney will identify all those who may share liability.
- Proving Negligence – Premises liability claims hinge on proving the property owner acted negligently. This requires showing they had a duty to keep the premises safe, failed in that duty, and directly caused your accident and injuries. An experienced lawyer will know how to establish these elements.
- Calculating Damages – Your compensation depends on documenting all accident-related losses. Your lawyer will tally medical bills, lost income, loss of future earnings capacity if you cannot work, pain and suffering, and other applicable damages.
- Handling Insurance Negotiations – Premises liability claims often involve complicated back-and-forth with insurance carriers. Skilled attorneys know how to negotiate effectively to get the insurer’s best offer.
- Taking Your Case to Court if Needed – If a satisfactory settlement can’t be reached through negotiation, your lawyer can build a compelling court case and argue for maximum compensation at trial.
Why Hire a Local Attorney?
Premises liability law can be complex. Each state has its own statutes and legal precedents governing these cases. This is a legal niche requiring specialized expertise. An experienced Jacksonville attorney offers key advantages:
- They understand Florida’s premises liability laws and legal standards inside and out.
- They have handled hundreds of local cases and know how to craft an effective legal strategy.
- They have relationships with expert witnesses who can strengthen your case, such as engineers, architects, economists, doctors, vocational analysts, and more.
- They know how to deal with local claims adjusters and insurance defense attorneys for optimal results.
- If a trial becomes necessary, they have credibility with local judges and juries.
Choosing the Right Jacksonville Premises Liability Lawyer
Not all attorneys have the same track record of success. When researching counsel for your premises liability claim, look for:
- Extensive specific experience with these cases – Choose a lawyer who devotes their practice to premises liability, not a general personal injury attorney. You want someone intimately familiar with the nuances of these cases.
- A proven record of favorable verdicts and settlements – Ask about case results obtained for past clients. Look for a high percentage of wins as well as multi-million dollar verdicts and settlements.
- Stellar client reviews – The right attorney should have glowing reviews and referrals from former clients. This demonstrates ability to get results as well as compassionate client care.
- Someone you feel comfortable with – You’ll be working closely together, so make sure you choose a lawyer you trust and can easily communicate with.
- Availability to give your case proper attention – Beware of attorneys who seem too busy to focus on the details of your case. You want someone accessible and responsive.
Strict statutes of limitations apply to premises liability cases in Florida, so don’t delay in consulting an attorney after any on-property accident. The sooner your lawyer can start building your claim, the better your chances of a successful outcome. Most offer free initial consultations, so contact a few seasoned Jacksonville premises liability attorneys and go with the one you feel will represent your interests most effectively. With the right legal advocate in your corner, you can pursue the maximum compensation you deserve for your injuries and other damages.